True Traveler City Guide

from WILD BLUE YONDER, Frontier Air’s Inflight magazine (2010)
By Brian Kluepfel

Dominated by the red brick edifices of its trademark insurance companies and the golden glow of the state capitol dome, Hartford exudes colonial charm and modern-day chic with a compact downtown along the river that features a pedestrian-friendly zone of restaurants, bars, museums and cafes.

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The Hartford Hilton is connected to the XL Center next-door and is a short walk to a plethora of bars and restaurants-the fifth-floor pool and modern lobby add to its cache. Pet lovers can check into the 15-floor Crowne Plaza with their (small) pooches (50 Morgan St.).

Black-Eyed Sally’s offers Southern soul on and offstage­—try the half-rack of ribs with rice and beans to complement the finger-lickin’ blues (350 Asylum St.) If it’s suds and grub you’re after, you can’t beat City Steam Brewery’s half-dozen home brews at happy hour (942 Main St.) The Tamarind Grill lives up to its tangy name with a savory lineup of curries and other Thai and Malaysian specialties (77 Pratt St.) Upscale Fen’s Asian Bistro is a well-appointed eatery with creative delights like a lobster latte that one must taste to believe (93 Asylum St.)

The award-winning Hartford Stage is a nationally recognized theater company putting on everything from Shakespeare to Hitchcock (50 Church St.) Love live music? Rock, fold, funk and jazz all thrive at the Bushnell Center (166 Capitol Ave.) Get your saki-and-martini fix at Koji, not your average umbrella-drink joint (17 Asylum St.)

Great River Park features walking loops along and across the mighty Connecticut River. A must see: the spectacular Dragon Boat Festival in August. Devotees of literature and architecture can take a short drive from downtown to the Mark Twain House + Museum, where the noted author lived in the late 1800s (351 Farmington Ave.)